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He Knew He Was Right 

Louis Trevelyan's refusal to trust his wife, Emily, destroys their marriage.

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Series cast summary:
Oliver Dimsdale ...  Louis Trevelyan 4 episodes, 2004
Christina Cole ...  Nora Rowley 4 episodes, 2004
Laura Fraser ...  Emily Trevelyan 4 episodes, 2004
Nathan Heath Nathan Heath ...  Little Louis 4 episodes, 2004
David Tennant ...  Mr. Gibson 4 episodes, 2004
Stephen Campbell Moore ...  Hugh Stanbury 4 episodes, 2004
Anna Massey ...  Miss Stanbury 4 episodes, 2004
Ron Cook ...  Mr. Bozzle 4 episodes, 2004
Fenella Woolgar ...  Arabella French 4 episodes, 2004
Claudie Blakley ...  Camilla French 4 episodes, 2004
Maggie Ollerenshaw ...  Martha 4 episodes, 2004
Geoffrey Palmer ...  Sir Marmaduke Rowley 3 episodes, 2004
Barbara Flynn ...  Mrs. French 3 episodes, 2004
Geraldine James ...  Lady Rowley 3 episodes, 2004
Amy Marston ...  Priscilla Stanbury 3 episodes, 2004
Joanna David ...  Mrs. Stanbury 3 episodes, 2004
Bill Nighy ...  Colonel Osborne 3 episodes, 2004
Caroline Martin Caroline Martin ...  Dorothy Stanbury 3 episodes, 2004
Matthew Goode ...  Brooke Burgess 3 episodes, 2004
Patsy Palmer Patsy Palmer ...  Mrs. Bozzle 3 episodes, 2004
Maureen Bennett Maureen Bennett ...  Nurse 3 episodes, 2004
Raymond Coulthard ...  Mr. Glascock 3 episodes, 2004
Lynn Farleigh ...  Mrs. Outhouse 2 episodes, 2004
Sinead Matthews ...  Mary 2 episodes, 2004
Neville Phillips Neville Phillips ...  Sir Peter Mancrudy 2 episodes, 2004
John Alderton ...  Mr. Outhouse 2 episodes, 2004
Polly Moore Polly Moore ...  Outhouse Maid 2 episodes, 2004
Sarah Crowden ...  Mrs. MacHugh 2 episodes, 2004
Anna-Louise Plowman ...  Caroline Spalding 2 episodes, 2004
Amber Batty Amber Batty ...  Olivia Spalding 2 episodes, 2004
Kate Alderton ...  Rowley House Maid 2 episodes, 2004


Louis Trevelyan's refusal to trust his wife, Emily, destroys their marriage.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis









Release Date:

18 April 2004 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

He Knew He Was Right See more »

Filming Locations:

Gran Sasso, Abruzzo, Italy See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:



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Did You Know?


[All trivia items for this title are spoilers.] See more »


Featured in The Two Loves of Anthony Trollope (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

Jealousy and suspicion haunt the novel and the film
4 July 2016 | by Red-125See all my reviews

"He Knew He Was Right" (2004) is a BBC TV mini-series directed by Tom Vaughan. It's an accurate transition to film of a novel by Anthony Trollope.

Louis Trevelyan (Oliver Dimsdale) marries Emily Rowley (Laura Fraser) and takes her to London. They are extraordinarily happy until Colonel Osborne, Emily's godfather, (Bill Nighy) begins daily visits to Emily. Her husband is jealous, which is reasonable enough in the context of the film. However, he makes the serious mistake of forbidding her to see Osborne.

Emily is high-spirited, and refuses this demand, and matters spiral down from there. Scholars have written that the plot is a reflection of Shakespeare's "Othello." Of course, the central theme of "Othello" is jealousy, but, to me, that's where the resemblance ends. Remember that the character Othello is an outsider. Louis Trevelyan is wealthy, and he moves smoothly in London society. I think the closer parallel is to Shakespeare's "The Winter's Tale." In "The Winter's Tale," King Leontes has a beautiful, loving, virtuous wife, but he becomes suspicious of her fidelity. There's no Iago to ferment suspicion--it just arises. In both Shakespeare and Trollope, the unfounded suspicion brings about terrible consequences.

The major plot of "He Knew He Was Right" is, indeed, tragic. However, Trollope has brought us four sub-plots, all involving true love that is initially thwarted. (Well, I'm not sure about how true the love is in one of the sub-plots, but there's plenty of thwarting involved.)

As always, the BBC has given us fine production values, and an excellent supporting cast. Oliver Dimsdale does a fine job as Louis Trevelyan. Laura Fraser is brilliant as Emily Trevelyan. The plot depends on her to be loving, virtuous, stubborn, and forgiving, and she manages to portray all these qualities perfectly. The camera loves her, and it's obvious that director Vaughan is aware of this. He has chosen to let her beautiful dark eyes convey to us what she is thinking and feeling. It was a superb casting choice. It's worth seeing "He Knew He Was Right" just to watch a talented actor play the part that's perfect for her.

Because this BBC mini-series was made for TV, it works well on the small screen. Find a way to see it. You'll be glad you did.

P.S. At certain key moments in the movie, characters turn to us and tell us what they are thinking. It's an interesting device at first, but ultimately I found it annoying. Luckily, these moments of direct communication from the character to the audience become less frequent as the film progresses.

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